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I've never made a dog-head bottle opener, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  I started with material from the foot support of my granddad's favorite recliner and have no doubt that it would make him very happy to know that his chair is continuing to bring comfort to the world.

The metal I started with was the right thickness, but too wide, so there was a lot of work to bring it down to size.  Next time, I'll try using some 3/16"x3/4" so I don't have to do so much work to get the opener "right".   Once I get the recipe dialed in, I should be able to make a handful and have them all come out reasonably similar.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A customer and I were joking around and that was the result.  Letter/bottle opener.  He was pleased and didn't slice a vein using it.  Then all of a sudden, I had customers lined up for them.  Couldn't make them fast enough.

Edited by Blackdot Rob
Removed something that might have been considered rude
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  • 3 weeks later...

I've done open ended wrenches making one end into a dinosauroid and the other into a cap lifter.  Sure made friends with my Mechanic when I give him a learning experiment one!

I'm very careful to only use old non-plated ones as I rather enjoy breathing and plan to continue doing it a while longer...

Edited by ThomasPowers
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These are popular as gifts for mechanics, but like TP says, you have to be aware of the dangers of those plated ones. Chrome fumes are not good for you.

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Looks like everyone is putting the tab on the handle size, does anyone make them with the tab on the far side, so you are pushing down to open, instead of lifting (other than hook style)?  If so how thick is the ring?

Rich C.

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You could put the tab on the far side, but you usually have a very thin/narrow piece to forge it into.  Better to be "tabbing" on the thicker side......

My rings are about 1/10" to 1/8" thick.

Edited by arkie
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I'm glad you guys shared that, I never knew chrome was bad. I'll keep that in mind next time I put a wrench in my forge (something I do regularly).

Hexavalent chrome is a powerful carcinogen. You get hexavalent chrome when you heat chrome very much. The temper colors aren't a problem but forging temps are B-A-D.

Frosty The Lucky.

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cadmium plating is very bad too.  Grinding/sanding beryllium bronze can be deadly.  (There was a big industrial foundry that seemed to kill a worker every year or two accidentally and they would absolutely FREAKOUT if any Be bronze showed up there in the scrap stream---made me sit up and take notice as something not to be messed with!)  Lead paint on old steel and of course galvanization.  All pretty easy to avoid; please do so!

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This is why I like it here. I'm looking at bottle openers and learn about more things that can kill me :) I never knew about chrome just lead and zinc. Most of what I put in my forge is old an rusty anyway so im not too worried. Like I said though I have a habit of putting old wrenches in there. I have people that give me old wrenches from time to time and I just looked for zinc but I guess I'll grind a layer off before I heat them.

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Treat all metals as hazards when heated and fuming, IE; welding stainless has hazards as ss contains chrome. Best to use unplated wrenches anyways as the loss of the chrome will just make for an unattractive end product. Unplated ones can be polished, painted, oiled, waxed, etc..... and look much nicer in the end. If you have a chrome shop near by they can remove the plating for you, and may do it for free since they get the chrome.

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Grinding chrome isn't as bad as burning it off but it's still not something to breathe and just wearing a dust mask isn't keeping it off you. Dust WILL settle in your hair and on your skin so unless you have a shower in your shop or wear haz mat suit you are going to be carrying grinding dust around with you. Washing your clothes will cross contaminate everything else that goes in the washer till it's rinsed out a few times.

I'm not trying to scare you . . . MUCH but it's something to think about. There's a procedure to safely remove PPE, especially safety glasses or goggles. Your eyebrows are there to catch debris before it falls in your eyes so they do. They catch airborne debris like grinding disk dust and metal filings. When you take your safety glasses off everything in your lashes are free to get shaken or brushed free and fall into your eyes.

Doing dirty work I often take my safety glasses off in the shower, head facing down eyes closed and shower the grit out. Please don't tell me I need to TELL you NOT TO USE AN AIR HOSE!!

Anyway, dust can be bad, in some cases say cadmium VERY BAD.

Yeah, I'm kind of a safety nut, one of the only ways to get 86'd from my shop is willfully disregard safe practices.

Frosty The Lucky.

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No, Frosty, you don't have to tell me about the air hose but thanks for mentioning it some might not know. I've seen dust blow up in a 20' cloud from just a quick puff from a compressor so I definitely don't wanna do that with bad stuff. Nor do I want to risk 'injecting' it as a result of the high pressure pushing it into my soft tissue.

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With the zinc plating, galvanized metal and the cadmium plated metal there is a simple solution.  Found out by accident.  Evapo-Rust rust remover will strip it from the steel.  I was derusting an item and used some cad plated nuts and zinc plated pins (random grab out of the misc fastener bag) to space it off the bottom of the pan, as soon as the evapo-rust touched nuts and pins the plating reacted forming a foamy looking strings.  After the rust was removed from the part, I washed the part, nuts and pins and the immediately flash rusted as soon as they air dried (cloth drying and/or quick shot of light oil needed to prevent flash rust).

As was found out either here or over on Practical machinist forum, Evapo-Rust is sold in different dilutions, the stuff at Harbor freight is relatively weak, whereas the stuff sold at Eastwood.com is pretty strong and is good for multiple reuses (Just make sure anything you treat is always covered with the solution, either deep pan or recirculation pump, otherwise steel will pit at the liquid line).

If you have a plating service remove the chrome, make sure they also remove the nickle plating, which is under the chrome (not sure if they use the same acid in both cases).  If it rusts then the nickle has been removed.

Rich C.

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